Safety

Violence prevention behind the scenes

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, November 10, 2019

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By John Palmer

It’s no secret that violence prevention is increasingly becoming a major part of the job description of today’s hospital safety and engineering professional.

Every day, there’s another report of a security breach at a hospital leading to an act of violence. Whether it’s an armed shooter who takes revenge against a doctor (such as what happened at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in January 2015) or a psychologically distraught man who checked himself out of an Ohio hospital on September 16 and later killed a hospital employee when he drove his truck into the front window of the ER, it’s hard to imagine why the average hospital hasn’t turned into an armed fortress.

That’s not the way healthcare is supposed to be—the hospital is meant to be a place of peace and healing, where patients can go to rest and recover without worrying about violence.

“Unfortunately, security is often not seriously considered in the planning and design phase,” says Thomas A. Smith, CHPA, CPP, president of Healthcare Security Consultants and former director of hospital police and transportation at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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